Do Solar Showers Actually Work? | State-of-the-art Elements Summer Solar Shower Review

Article published:March 21, 2021

Wondering what a solar shower bag is and just how it works? Well, in this evaluation on the Modern Elements Summer Solar Shower Bag, I will certainly go over every little thing you need to recognize around solar shower bags. Such as just how it works, exactly how it heats up, exactly how fast it heats up, just how lengthy you can use it, and so on You will walk ameans from this Advanced Elements Summer Solar Shower Bag Recheck out with no other questions regarding whether or not the bag is appropriate for you. 

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Jake and also I live in a campervan permanent and also this serves as our primary shower. We have actually the 5-gallon bag and feel it is a good size for our way of living. State-of-the-art Elements does market different sizes, however in this review on the Advanced Elements Summer Solar Shower Bag, I will certainly be referring to the 5 Gallon Bag bereason it is the only bag we have actually suffer through. We have owned this bag given that July 2019 and also have supplied it on average around 3 times per month.

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The design of the Advanced Elements Summer Solar Shower Bag is quite simple. Tright here are 3 panels that assist absorb the heat of the sun: a reflector panel, insulator panel, and also solar panel. Tbelow is then a water reservoir to host the preferred amount of water (in our instance 5 gallons). And lastly, a clear plastic window that allows the sun to shine with the reflective panels. 

Thus, you lay the solar bag in the sun through the clear home window side up. The sun’s rays shine through the clear window layer via the water to hit the reflective panels to absorb the heat of the sunlight. Which basically heats up the water.

This clear side additionally has a thermometer challenge up so you have the right to view just how hot it is obtaining. One complaint is that that the thermometer is pretty hard to review. But a little fiddling via the ideal angle and you deserve to see a reading. You have discovered that the ideal temperature is ≈ 116 levels F.

Then, just how the solar shower functions is by gravity. The solar shower bag demands to be hung up greater than your head so the water can circulation. We imply trying to tie it to a sturdy tree branch or roof rack if you have one on your automobile. This is where it can be incredibly handy to have actually a ladder. We live full time vanlife, so we have a telescoping ladder which functions wonderfully.

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We discover the water pressure to be enough, though it does acquire weaker as the bag empties. But it’s always been enough to do all the normal shower work.

Jake Using The Telescoping Ladder To Hang The Cutting edge Elements Summer Solar Shower On Our Roof Rack

It really counts on how effective the sunlight is and also the temperature external. For example, if you put a cup of water that has no reflective materials added, it mostly will certainly adapt to the neighboring temperature, aka “room temperature”. But including in the reflective product helps heat the water up quicker. 

But if you area the bag out in winter temperatures such as 40 levels or reduced, and wbelow the sun often tends to be reduced in the skies, the bag will have actually a harder time acquiring to a preferable shower temperature. It can take the totality day to warm up, if also at all. But if you place the bag in 80 level weather in straight sunlight in the summer, then the bag could warmth up in much less than an hour. So it depends on the variable elements of mother nature!

Important Note: In exceptionally hot temperatures and straight sun, the solar shower bag can obtain to scalding temperatures. So double-check the thermometer reading.

Due to the fact that we perform full time vanlife, we usage this shower all year round. But we are take a trip southern in the winter to warmer weather. So, in winter, in 50-60 level temperatures, through the sun being reduced in the sky, it takes 4+ hours in full sunlight. If it’s cloudy, it really doesn’t absorb as much sun as it demands in order to reach a desirable temperature. 

In summer, via temperatures 70-80 levels Fahrenheit and also straight sunlight, it takes just a couple hrs. If it’s cloudy, it will certainly still warmth up but not practically as fast and also could not reach a “hot” shower, just a “warm” shower. 

So our finest advice is to try and find a day that has actually direct sun and temperatures are warmer outside. Or usage some of our tips listed below on how to heat up a solar shower bag quicker. 


Jake and I really conserve our water so we don’t have to fill up the bag as regularly. We take “miliatary-style” showers, where we turn the water off while sudsing. So through us helping each other by turning the nozzle off and also on for one one more, between rinses, we deserve to acquire about 3 showers each (totaling 6 quick showers).

But if refilling the solar shower bag isn’t an concern and also you just desire to run the water endlessly prefer a genuine shower, it mainly lasts as much as 10 minutes through a complete 5 gallons. 

While the sunlight is the simplest and also many energy-effective method to heat up the Modern Elements Summer Solar Shower Bag, tright here are quicker methods to heat up the water for the solar shower bag. 

A couple of times, we didn’t have all day to have actually the bag sit out in the sunlight. So we would certainly fill up our large pot (5.5qt) and boil water. This technique functions fairly rapid, and also you will certainly have actually a warm shower in under 15 minutes. 

Anvarious other faster method to obtain the solar shower bag warmer in much less time is to place it on darker surencounters such as asphalt, black products, or the hood of your car if it is a darker shade, and so on We regularly usage the ago side of our windshield sun shade because it is babsence and also attracts warm.

Everyone knows the windows in a car allows in warm much much faster than the remainder of the automobile. So occasionally as soon as we are running errands all day, we will certainly area the solar shower bag on the dashboard or against our back windows depending upon wbelow the sunlight is coming into the campervan. This will certainly aid warmth the bag up faster. Do be careful that the home window doesn’t obtain also hot, that the product could melt. We’ve never had an issue, bereason the water seems to exchange most of the warmth ameans from the glass, but it’s something to be weary around. 

There are 2 various means you deserve to store the solar shower bag. You deserve to save it empty by rolling it up and storing it anywhere. Or you can save it filled up and store it with the water in it (which is our preferred way). But if room is an worry, go with the roll-up approach and it will take up next to no space.

If you go through the storage techniques with water still in it, we indicate making use of a hard situation storage container. Since it is a huge bag of water, we acquired a small nervous about having an quickly puncturable bag sitting in our trunk. So we bought a hard plastic case for it to sit in so it wouldn’t be as basic to have something accidentally puncture it. That method if it were to leak, it would certainly hopecompletely fill up inside the plastic container prior to leaking everywhere our campervan. 

InexpensiveHolds 5 gallons (we deserve to around 6 military-style showers out of it)Heated by the sunComes via water temperature gaugeEasy to stow away in between usesLightweight when empty
Hard to revolve off and also on by yourself to conserve water (require two hands)Not rigid, so it has the opportunity to be punctured and also leakNeeds gravity for water to flow, so need to find a tree or something high to hang it onNot pressurized, so shampoo & soap deserve to be difficult to wash outCan take multiple hours to warmth upHard to clean & dry outTemperature gauge is difficult to read